Like every year, the event Alexa Live 2021 was the occasion for Amazon to present dozens of new features or improvements for its voice assistant intended for developers of skills and connected objects, but not only since they obviously concern all users in the end.
After revealing to you two major evolutions this week, Ziggy and Matter, we invite you to see a little more in detail 15 new features to come on Alexa in 2021. . The list is of course not exhaustive and other surprises could well arrive in the coming months ...
Ziggy: the male voice ofAlexa
Amazon confirmed our information on the new male voice ofAlexa and the possibility of assigning him the first name Ziggy. Until now, Alexa had only a female voice and answered Alexa, Echo, or even Amazon. No date announced outside the United States for the moment, but it should not be long as the Matter update ...
Matter arrives on Amazon Echo
As we reported to you last night, the Matter home automation protocol will soon be supported by devices Amazon Echo, with the exception of the Echo 1, Dot 1 and Echo Tap (products never sold in Europe). More globally, Amazon continues to focus on uses smart home and intends to further improve the capabilities of its voice assistant in this area. Excellent news which should consolidate the domination ofAlexa en automation.
Alexa Custom Assistant
Alexa Custom Assistant is a complete solution that makes it easy for any brand to create your own voice assistant technology-based custom Alexa, with a wake-up call, voice, personality and unique abilities.
Last January, Amazon had announced his collaboration with Stellantis, the first automobile manufacturer to embark on the experiment. Since then, the Seattle giant has forged partnerships with Qualcomm, Garmin, Elektrobit and Continental, and this evening confirmed the launch of the Verizon Smart Display that we were already talking about at the end of June ...
Interoperable voice assistants?
Amazon had launched, at the end of 2019, a Voice Interoperability Initiative (or VII). The goal? Not having to juggle voice assistants to get what we want.
There are indeed many voice assistants today, each allowing you to do certain tasks. While there is currently no question of collaboration with Google Assistant or Siri, Alexa will be able to work hand in hand with a large number of its congeners, since program VII now counts nearly 90 membersIncluding Facebook, Intel, Qualcomm, Sonos, or Garmin...
Widgets on Echo Show
This is without a doubt the most important novelty of the day. Amazon indeed announced APL Widgets, a new way of interacting with connected screens like Echo Show. Those widgets will display on the home screen smart displays richer views with dynamic and above all customizable content.
For example, it will be possible to follow automatically updated information, such as the score of your team's match. Ligue 1 broadcast on Prime Video, or touch an item to access it without having to invoke Alexa.
Gradually, the use of the connected screen speaker seems to be approaching that of the touch pad, which is not to displease us.
Alexa becomes proactive
Two features will allow Alexa to become proactive for event-based experiences everyday.
If, for example, you go to work, Alexa can arm your Ring Alarm V2 and lock your door with the Nuki skill. If you go for your morning jog, she will suggest to you to listen to your favorite playlist… and much more!
Alexa Guard gets richer
Feature eagerly awaited by European users, but still not available in France, Alexa Guard will experience notable improvements.
In addition to monitoring ambient noise in the house with the speaker microphones Amazon Echo, users located in the United States will be able to connect security devices such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide and water leak with Alexa to better protect their homes. When these smart security devices detect an incident, Alexa Guard will be able to send them mobile notifications. It remains to be seen if the functionality will ever be available with us ...
Even more effective skills in routines Alexa
Si Alexa can already launch skills in their routines, Amazon goes further by offeringperform specific tasks.
For example, if your iRobot Skill already allows you to ship your breathing machine in the kitchen using a voice command, Alexa will soon be able to use it without your help to complete the task. Thus, it will be possible to use specific features of the skills much more easily. A very good point!
Send to your smartphone
Thanks to the functionality « Send to Phone« , it will soon be possible to start a task with Alexa and send it to a mobile phone.
For example, you can listen to the introduction of an article onTopicality Alexa from the skill Les Alexiens and choose to read it in full by asking to receive it on your smartphone. A feature that we already know through a few skills but which will now be extended to applications… Great, right?
Alexa Voice Service extended internationally
The service Alexa Voice Service, or AVS for close friends, which makes it possible to integrate Alexa in a large number of connected objects is internationalizing. Amazon announces its next availability in more than 25 countries, but especially in new languages, especially French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.
Named "Discovery" in France, the rotating screen with suggestions forAlexa has the gift of annoying many users who find its content uninteresting. Corn Amazon has not said his last word and does not abandon the concept, wishing to enrich it with presentations of skills. Finished the " Try to say ...“, Cards will display featured skills, allowing developers to promote their applications.
Amazon wish the games on Alexa be more social. A feature ofshared activities will create multiplayer challenges in order to make it possible to share games with friends. This will open up new ways to play with family or friends.
Home meal deliveries
Amazon announces Food Skill API enabling restaurateurs to quickly create easier-to-use food delivery and pick-up experiences with enhanced discovery features.
Domino's and McDonald's to launch new experiences soon Alexa using these APIs.
Take #Alexa on the go. With Send to Phone, you can start an experience on your Alexa-enabled device and continue it on your mobile device. @McDonaldsUK used this to make getting a great deal even easier. #AmbientExperiences #AlexaLive pic.twitter.com/rNTKZKRrAS
— Alexa Developers (@alexadev) July 21th, 2021
Amazon Music Spotlight
Last but not least, Amazon Music Spotlight will allow artists to share their latest content, without coding, with their fan users ofAlexa. Better yet, they will be able to directly interact with their fans live and create unique bonds with them!